Bryan’s D&D Background

Current Gaming

January 2020

At the current time I am playing in a Monster of the Week campaign and DMing a new AD&D campaign. Several members of the gaming group are interested in trying their hands at DMing, so I’ll be playing in a few short-term D&D 5E campaigns. We play 1 night each week, so the campaigns are running in a round-robin fashion – each campaign runs an adventure of 1 to 4 sessions, then we rotate.

Previously I played in 2 different 5E campaigns, both of which ended.

My AD&D Background

September 2006

In January 1983 I was introduced to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons at SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam NY. I was involved games under 2 radically different dungeon masters. It made for an interesting introduction — the game took a major role in my life and I developed an enjoyment of the game that has carried through to the present.

I left SUNY Potsdam that spring so my association with those dungeon masters ended — but I didn’t give up the game and I immediately started a campaign in my own fantasy world, running different groups of characters as high as 13th level. My brother Kevin started a campaign (set in the same world) and I ran characters through his adventures in the same time period. This lasted until about 1990 when all the old players had moved on in their lives to other things and other places.

I boxed up my materials (which are quite extensive) and they moved around with me for 5 years until I bought a house, at which time they took up permanent residence in my attic.

In May 2005 I started talking about the game with my sons, then aged 7 and 8, respectively. They got very excited about the idea, so I pulled my box out of the attic, helped them roll characters, and I was a DM again!

Since that time, I’ve gotten involved in what is a surprisingly large AD&D 1st Edition online world. I’ve published an article in Footprints, the eZine published by Dragonsfoot. I’ve cleaned up most of my materials which I had on disk [I had all my old paper materials retyped into the computer — while I never expected to play again, I periodically putzed with it.]

Last year I looked at D&D version 3 or 3.5 (not sure which it was). I gave some brief thought to switching up to the newer version.

Sorry folks, that was me coughing up my lungs when I saw the price tag of $40/book and realized how many books were required!

That convinced me that AD&D is good enough for me! Since that time OSRIC has been published, and while I wish they had included some of the more recent materials in it, OSRIC is still a fantastic effort and it’s keeping the AD&D alive!

I intend to publish as least some of my home-grown materials, starting with my article Clerics Turning Undead, and I intend to do it in a more timely fashion than I did my wine making or Visual Basic materials. Time will tell …


Trivana is the fantasy world I created for my campaigns. It developed over many years and took different directions at different times. The current version publish here is what I expect to be the final version of the world — structure wise.

As time goes on I will publish additional material about Trivana, and the greater world in which it exists. The back history and the future history will continue to grow in the telling.

Sages of Trivana

I originally wrote much of the history of Trivana in the form of writings by sages of eons past. This made the information far less dry, and gave me the ability to experiment with different styles of writing, using different “voices”. This section contains the writings I have typed — I need to go through old adventures as I have more writings that were written as the background information. These were written on a typewriter in the mid-1980’s and will need to be re-typed into a word processor — don’t hold your breath until this gets done!
As time allows I’ll add new material to the list published here. I’ve also realized that at some point it will be useful to cross-reference the time periods in which the different sages lived. This could easily get complicated enough that I’d get lost ….

In the documents published on the web I’ve chosen to supplement the material with editorial notes — snippets describing how or why I used the information to further my campaigns. This explains why some material is incomplete, and why some things worked or didn’t work.

DMG Section

Back in the mid-1980’s I read Dragon Magazine voraciously. In its pages I found an incredible wealth of information and ideas. Some things I used “as is” (maybe with some modification); others I used for more for inspiration.

The Dungeon Master’s Guide section contains rules I use in my campaigns. Some were taken or adapted from Dragon Magazine, others from other sources. Some were just “common sense” modifications to existing rules.

Included here are HTML versions of various tables I either took straight from Dragon Magazine or adapted from ideas I found there. Copies of these tables have existed, paper-clipped to the inside of my DM screens since then — I’m still using copies I typed on a typewriter 20+ years ago! Fifteen or more years ago I typed all this information into a word processor to preserve them and have now translated them into HTML for others to enjoy.

Over the span of time I have no remembrance of what I took straight from Dragon Magazine and what I adapted from ideas I found there. Regardless of which, I take no credit for most of the content of these pages — if I did contribute to the material I did it standing on the shoulders of others; they had the original idea and I merely contributed to it.

Anything that is my original work I have noted as such — everything else belongs to others and I am merely republishing it.


These articles I wrote and published in other venues, such as Dragonsfoot. I may write new articles strictly for publication here, but haven’t decided that as yet.

I have in mind to write articles like the “Ecology” articles that Ed Greenwood published in Dragon Magazine in the 1980’s. If I happen to do this these will be published here as well.

Adventure Modules

I’ve got literally dozens of adventures in hard copy format, mostly handwritten with a few typed. As time allows I plan to re-type at least the most interesting ones into HTML format and publish here. No promises on when that will happen.

New Monsters

Since most of my players in the past had the Monster Manual I, Monster Manual II, Fiend Folio, and every other reference memorized, it got tough putting them up against the unknown. So I delved into Dragon Magazine, a wealth of new information. Sadly, since I believe it’s a copyright violation I cannot publish those monsters here.

However, the ones that were created in my campaign by me and my players? They will be published here, a few at a time. While I’m not overly impressed with the newer versions of D&D, I have to admit the monster write-ups I’ve seen are great! So I’m using a format I’ve seen in multiple places, expanding the descriptions to include Appearance, Combat, Habitat/Society, Ecology, and Variants sections.

It has occurred to me to use the OSRIC approach and write up new, generic descriptions using the newer monster description format. That will allow me to include the old monsters and really beef up the descriptions. This will take more of my already limited time, so we’ll see how it goes ….

New Spells

As with monsters, I and my players created a bunch of new spells, as well as taking published ones from Dragon Magazine. In this section I am publishing players spells, although I am also publishing the list of all spells I allow, which include the Players Handbook, Unearthed Arcana, Dragon Magazine, and other sources.


I retain the copyright for all original materials published on my web site. This includes Trivana related materials and any original articles that I authored.

I give permission for use of all writings in the AD&D section of this site for personal, non-commercial use. No one is allowed to republish any documents or use it in any way for gain. Don’t copy my materials, but feel free to link to my site.

Questions regarding use of this material can be sent to me — I’ll cheerfully answer all questions.

Any non-original materials published here, such as reprints of tables from the DMG, are not copyrighted (well, not by me). Anything not my work will be noted as such. If there are questions regarding my right to publish such materials, please contact me. If I discover I’m in violation of anyone else’s copyright I’ll withdraw the material immediately.

This page last updated: 13 January 2020

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